The project concerns an architectural 5 km upgrading of Athinon Avenue - the main western motorway entrance to the city of Athens. It belongs to a series of projects introduced by the Greek State, which elaborate a ‘new image’ for the entrances of Athens for the occasion of the Olympic games. It includes two major installations and a series of kinetic urban fittings.
Although "mobility" is the real condition of the avenue, the proposal develops on the basis of an other, seemingly static mobility characteristic of the urban experience. The introduction/reminder of such a real "static" spatial experience - a local sense of mobility - becomes the main design concept.
An instantaneous direct statement of the urban experience is posed in its full function, through which the motorist should drive. The traveller is introduced into the dialectics of citizenship. Such an experience is critical to the notion of 'gate', or any other symbolic marking. It introduces the space of the city as space of the Other in a condition of direct contact; a space at once alien and familiar to the expectations of the visitor.
Two major installations, addressed to both incoming and outgoing streams, are introduced on two key points of the avenue. Three kinetic urban elements inspired by the leaf-form are introduced in groups, in selected areas along the road area.
The Open Air Theatre Crossing is a split building, a 'split-boundary' complex. Instead of encountering a gate-object, the driver experiences a "void"-event. That is an instantaneous direct experience of the city in its real function, an experience Other to the expected one. The scheme progresses as a snapshot of urban locality superimposed on the motorway, a system of pedestrian bridges operating within an expanded interior of a building whose spaces extend to both sides of the motorway.
The Meeting Point is a building conceived as a 'lifting' of the existing ground plane. It is designed to service motorists as a stop-over on the way out of Athens. It contains an information kiosk and a mini-mart.
Operating within and sprouting out from the meeting point building is the kinetic bicycle wheel installation, inspired by these vehicles which are absent from the city of Athens. It involves a ferris-wheel which runs on natural kinetic energy generated by a windmill placed on the other side of the motorway. It serves as a marker of the entry point to a camping ground adjacent to the avenue.
The kinetic urban elements are inspired by the leaf-form and its kinetic structure. They are introduced in groups, in selected areas along the motorway, and serve three different purposes.
They include: a) Light elements for the pedestrians, which operate both as a lighting and shade device via a system of louvres which are activated by the movement of pedestrians and the solar path. b) Light-entrance elements which mark the entrances to the underground pedestrian passages. They are structures designed as a variation of the leaf shaped units and extend over and above the avenue. c) A series of 200, 12 metre high metallic, leaf-like elements which are located on the central reservation zone. They move as the wind blows, thus welcoming and signalling to the car passenger.

Project Title
Urban Proposal for the Western Entrance to the City of Athens, 2003

ANAMORPHOSIS Architects and associates

Greek Ministry of Environment and Public Works

Design Team:
ANAMORPHOSIS Architects: Nikos Georgiadis, Tota Mamalaki, Kostas Kakoyiannis, Vaios Zitonoulis
in collaboration with Andromachi Damala

Project co-ordinator:
Andromachi Damala

Urban Analysis & Research:
D.L. Architectural Design Company, Michalis Doris, Olga Lambrianidou & associates

Structural Engineer:
Manos Kyriazis, Panos Poniridis

Mechanical Engineer:
Pantelis Argyros

Traffic and Topography Engineer:
Ioannis Fragakis

Maria Zarkadoula & George Lolos

3d Models Animation & Renderings:
Kostas Kakoyiannis, Vaios Zitonoulis, Ioannis Arvanitis, Roula Kotsillati, Andreas Marinis, Costis Chrissos, Eleni Marouli

2d Drawings:
Andromachi Damala, Vaios Zitonoulis, Eleni Stavropoulou, Roula Kotsillati, Melisa Callau Escuer, Thomas Knigge, Mary Stai, Eleni Marouli

Nikos Georgiadis, Kostas Kakoyiannis, Tota Mamalaki, Con Kallos, Stella Gregoriadou, Thomas Knigge, Roula Kotsillati, Melisa Callau Escuer

Nikos Georgiadis, Andromachi Damala, Kostas Kanakis